Every business will know how important their customers are. In particular, loyal customers are arguably more important than new customers because according to research, return spenders are worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase. For that reason, it’s vital that you prioritise boosting return custom. Here are seven strategies to increase customer loyalty.
Building customer loyalty is essential for any business that wants to remain ahead of the competition. Not only is the cost of acquiring a new customer higher than the cost required to maintain an existing one, but loyal customers are more likely to spread positive news about your business.
These are the strategies we’ll be discussing:
- Provide Superior Customer Support
- Have a Loyalty Programme
- Don’t Just Offer “Limited Time Only” Promotions
- Showcase Customer Testimonials
- Send Regular Updates on Company News
- Improve Employee Morale
- Improve Overall Customer Experience
Provide Superior Customer Support
This is one of the most obvious yet often underrated strategies. If you provide your customers with excellent support in an efficient and timely manner, they’ll be more likely to return to your store. This means your entire team, from those on the shop floor to those in Head Office, need to know your product and service inside out. They should be aware of the questions customers most commonly ask and problems they run into.
For example, customer service should be readily available over all of the communication channels that customers expect these days - such as the phone, email and social media. Then, of course, the sales assistants should be knowledgeable about your products and services because they’re the ones who are dealing with customers directly face-to-face.
Customer support can be improved in a variety of ways, including:
- Suggesting products to customers rather than pressuring them. Presenting products or services in a way that showcases their benefits to the customer instead of your business will make them more likely to purchase.
- Offering a personalised service to customers, such as personal recommendations and tailored messages. This makes customers feel special and valued.
- Provide a strong service guarantee that always puts the customer first if something goes wrong. This shows customers that you have their best interests at heart and helps to build trust.
2. Have a Loyalty Programme
Rewarding your customers for their loyalty not only makes them feel special and valued, but also encourages them to return to your store in order to collect their rewards. After all, loyalty programmes reward customers for their frequent purchases.
It’s important that you target customers with the right kind of loyalty programmes and rewards. Consider what will interest your customers the most and make them want to participate in this programme.
For example, you could have a scheme where customers simply earn points for every purchase they make. They could use these points to redeem special, limited edition goods from your company, receive coupons for money off their next purchase or a gift voucher.
Members of your loyalty scheme could also be privy to special treatment in the form of pre-sale discount codes, invites to after-hours events or exclusive competitions. All things which make their loyalty feel valued.
Whatever the reward might be, consider what will make your customers tick.
3. Don’t Just Offer “Limited Time Only” Promotions
We might not all be business owners but we have all been a customer before, so we know exactly how attractive the words “limited time only” are. The theory behind this tactic is simple. Customers see “limited time only” and believe that because this is temporary, they might not see this special price, product or service again. This motivates them to buy.
It’s probably page one in How to Sell for Dummies.
However, it’s important to remember that although “limited time only” promotions do work and draw attention, they don’t build long-term bonds with your customers. That’s why you should combine this strategy with others, such as loyalty schemes and improving customer experience.
4. Showcase Customer Testimonials
The benefits of this strategy are like striking two birds with one stone. From one perspective, customer testimonials can help persuade new customers into your business, whether it’s from them reading these stories on your website or existing customers spreading positive news about your company.
And then there’s also the fact that your existing customers will feel appreciated that you chose to share their story with the world. This then helps to increase their loyalty and can even motivate the rest of your existing customer base into participating.
5. Send Regular Updates on Company News
Many businesses have a blog or send out a weekly or monthly newsletter to help keep their customers in the loop. By doing this, it helps your customers feel as though they’re a part of your team. It reminds them that you’re not only there if they need your services, but you value them and want them to be a part of any important changes you might be making.
As well as this, personalised emails that inform your customers of any deals, promotions or new product lines ahead of time will help them feel even more appreciated.
6. Improve Employee Morale
It’s not just your customers you need to focus on. Employee performance can also impact customer experience and potential loyalty because how your workers see their job will affect how they treat your customers. This will then link to customer support.
Boost employee morale by offering incentives based on how much satisfaction they bring to your customers or offer training that helps to advance their careers.
7. Improve Overall Customer Experience with WiFi
Customer experience is one of the most important tactics that can improve customer loyalty and advocacy. It’s not just providing excellent customer service and support. It’s about improving the whole experience for the customer - from the moment they walk into your store to when they walk out.
Premium, branded retail WiFi is a great way to do this and it can benefit both the customers and the business.
How WiFi Helps Customers
With 46 percent of shoppers now expecting stores to offer free WiFi, WiFi is now considered a necessity. Shoppers want to have the freedom to research backup brands and products while they’re physically in your store. They want to compare prices, read reviews and check social media while they shop. They might even want to share photos of your products or store interior on social media.
Contrary to popular belief, this won’t distract your customers from your experience - it will actually enhance it and encourage them to stay for even longer.
For example, if your store is particularly large, like a department store, or is a retail space or shopping centre, customers can easily become lost. Rather than needing to seek assistance from a staff member, an engagement platform can present all the information about your retail space customers might need - including a digital map as you can even integrate with a wayfinding solution to help shoppers navigate the space. This then means customers can smoothly navigate by themselves without becoming frustrated and giving up and leaving.
WiFi also helps improve overall customer service. For example, sales assistants can use tablets that allow them to serve and resolve customer requests and queries, no matter how far away they might be from a cash till. This means a more seamless, convenient shopping experience which improves customer loyalty.
How WiFi Helps Businesses
It’s not just the customers who can benefit from WiFi. WiFi allows businesses to understand their customers in more depth through smart analytics. This valuable data is anonymous, but provides analytics on general shopper behaviours, purchasing habits and the busiest footfall times. Businesses can then take this information and use it to tailor their retail spaces to match their customers’ preferences, which will further enhance their overall experience.
If you know what your customers like to do, see, interact with and buy, you can also advertise to them more effectively. For example, an engagement platform allows you to present advertising that’s tailored to your customers’ preferences. You can show promotions that your customers will find relevant and interesting to them, which boosts shopper loyalty as well as the likelihood that they will spend more.
It’s not just ads that businesses can present to their shoppers. They can also integrate their loyalty schemes with WiFi and use intelligence from analytics to tailor these schemes to their shoppers’ habits. Not only does this create a unified experience for the business, but it also helps to increase the customer’s overall engagement, spend and satisfaction in-store.
In addition to this, other businesses can buy advertising space on your user experience platform, which generates extra revenue. If you don’t offer WiFi connectivity, all of this becomes much harder to do and may even discourage customers from buying your products or services.
Brand strategist Mark Di Somma wrote, “every brand has a lifespan – because every customer has an attention span.” For one, this means as long as your company stays in the minds of your customers and they feel that they need you, you’ll keep going. Customer loyalty is one of the best (and most cost-effective) ways to improve that.
Want More Information on the Benefits of Retail WiFi?
Customer loyalty is just one of the ways in which retail WiFi can help your business grow. If you’d like to read more, download a copy of our Retail Case Study for more insight on what WiFi can bring to the retail sector.